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Question Number: 26927

Law 1- The Field 10/21/2012

RE: Travel Under 10

Jim of Breinigsville, Pa U.S. asks...

Just saw a couple of U9 girls' soccer games this weekend. In both, the girls took their goal kicks from edge of penalty area (18 yd line) rather than goal area (6 yd line). In fact, when they set it up at goal area, coach yelled to move up and ref did not disagree. Never seen this before and wondering if this is common new rule variation for this age? (I seem to recall problems with properly taking goal kicks from goal area--eg players touching ball before it leaves penalty area--just a couple years ago with my older daughter, so must be recent change if so)

Answer provided by Referee Joe McHugh

Hi Jim
This reads like a local rule for Ulittles. The Laws can be modified for these type of games and it is not unusual for goal kicks to be taken in the way you describe. I have also seen corner kicks brought in when the full width markings are used. I have also seen the Laws modified to allow punts being used for goal kicks
For me these young players should be playing on a small sided field anyway without an 18 yard penalty area so the need for this would not arise.
In the UK the field should be no more than 55 yards long and around 40 yards wide with the penalty area for each goal is formed by a rectangle measuring 10 yards by 18 yards wide. There is no 6 yard area and the ball is either kicked or thrown from inside the penalty area on what is called a goal clearance.

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Answer provided by Referee Gary Voshol

For our recreational U8 and U10 fields, we have defined that the goal area and penalty area shall be the same size. Field size (and by extension, the parts of the field) is one of the modifications allowed for young age groups.

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Answer provided by Referee Dennis Wickham

The issue for the u-littles is that the ball is not in play until it leaves the penalty area. Some cannot kick the ball the requisite twelve yards. Some leagues adjust the place of the goal kick. It would not be appropriate in a normal match.

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